In the departures lounge at Gatwick, we five writers (me, Matt, Sam, Robin, Stacey) and our directors (George and James) realised we actually knew very little about Jersey, and so we came up with a small list of ‘The Most Important Questions To Ask’ as soon as we arrived and found a proper real life Jersey … person. Jerseyite? Jerseyrian? Anyway (Jersey Boy?), so –
Number 1: has there ever been a fox on Jersey? (My mum the night before told me in all seriousness there’d never, ever been a fox on Jersey, which seemed just ridiculous so I made it my mission, in between writing plays and films, to find one and take a photo).
Number 2: what’s the deal with the cow in the house? (Matt had heard a story about a calf being raised in the attic of a house only for it to grow too big as a cow and they couldn’t get it back down the stairs so it got stuck there and is still there).
Number 3: does anyone pay any tax, honestly, and if not, what the hell’s going on with that?
When we arrived though, we soon forgot about our questions as we got picked up by Tom and our others hosts from the Jersey Arts Trust and taken to our lodgings for the week – the beautiful and huge Eulah House.
It all then got a bit controversial – wrongly, in my view – when we decided to pick rooms at random and I got the Honeymoon Suite; the largest best room in the house. Some insinuated it would be wasted on me. I’m not even sure I know what that means but I don’t like the implication. Anyway, everyone has a gorgeous room, even if they don’t have my four-poster bath (the first four-poster bath any of us had ever seen.)
We met and had dinner that night with our Jersey counterparts – writers Ben, Colin, Martha, Leon and Hannah, who are joining us in the house this week to write and stuff.
So yesterday (Tuesday) was our first full day of doing the thing we’ve been brought here to do, and that’s write. I’ve always been obsessed by how and where and when other writers write. Here’s my observations of today: Robin worked in the big living room with the Christmas tree, which sort of set a precedent and a lot of us writers migrated there throughout the day. Except Sam, who stayed in her room (not as big as mine), and likewise Stacey (likewise, tiny). George faced the view of the sea, I faced away. Martha and Ben took up positions on the sofa. Leon at the table. James has been attacking his inbox today; Matt opted to work for some of the day in the pool house where his room is (not as big as mine).
A handful of us opted for a bracing early morning walk along the promenade, which we may well repeat today. Someone else amongst us, enlisted to do tomorrow’s blog post, will no doubt let you know …